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Key opening foreign owned Bathurst Resources inappropriate

21 March 2012

Key opening foreign owned Bathurst Resources’ office inappropriate

The Prime Minister should not be attending the event of a company that is currently applying to mine conservation land, the Green Party said today.

“The Prime Minister’s attendance at the opening of foreign owned Bathurst Resources’ new head office in Wellington sends a clear message to the Department of Conservation to approve Bathurst’s access application,” said Green Party Conservation Spokesperson Eugenie Sage.

“What is the Department to think when the Prime Minister is so positive about the company’s proposal that he officiates at their office opening?”

Ms Sage was responding to John Key’s confirmation in the House that he would be officiating at the opening of Bathurst Resources’ new head office in Wellington today. The Department of Conservation is currently considering Bathurst Resources application for an access agreement for an open cast coal mine on conservation land on the Denniston Plateau.

“Bathurst Resources has used the Prime Minister as a draw card to advertise its office opening. It is in the company’s interests to use his attendance to make a stronger case for their proposal to mine conservation land,” said Ms Sage.

“The Denniston Plateau has a series of unique habitats and landscapes that will be lost forever if we allow a foreign company to turn it into an open cast coal mine.

“The Government needs to clean up its act both, with regard to protecting our clean green image and recognising the reasons why conservation lands are protected.

“How can the public trust the Government to properly consider Bathurst’s application to access conservation lands when they have no say and when the Prime Minister is so supportive of the company’s mining ventures.

“50,000 people marched up Auckland’s Queen Street in 2010 to protect our public conservation estate. Yet the Prime Minister and Minister of Conservation continue to deny the public a chance to have their say on this significant proposal to mine conservation land,” said Ms Sage.

Eugenie Sage will be attending a protest outside of Bathurst Resources Ltd Wellington Offices at Wellington’s Willeston Street from 5.00 pm today.

ENDS

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